are most sensitive to salt stress during the period of seed germination and seedling growth ( Kohli et al., 2013 ). The pathogenic effects of salt on plants are mainly manifested via ion toxicity, osmotic stress, and nutritional imbalance ( Flowers and
Brian Whipker and P. Allen Hammer
Acidification of the irrigation water with phosphoric acid is a common practice to avoid nutrient deficiencies/toxicities from alkaline root media. It has been suggested high phosphorus levels could cause phosphorus toxicity.
Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. cultivars Supjibi and Celebrate 2 cuttings were potted on June 6, 1991 in a root medium of peat, perlite and soil (40:40:20 by volume) amended with N, K, Ca and micro-nutrients, plus six phosphorus (0-40-0) rates of .89, 1.78, 3.55, 7.11, 10.67, and 14.22 kg/meter3. Foliar samples were analyzed for NH4, P, and K every two weeks after the start of short days. Root media samples were also collected and analyzed pH, SS and NO3, P, K and NH4. Bract diameter, bract edge burn, days to anthesis, and plant height were recorded at anthesis.
Media P levels increased as the phosphorus rate increased, but a significant treatment*harvest interaction for media P was observed. There was decreased bract size and increased incidences of bract edge burn as phosphorus rate increased. Root media P levels did not affect the levels of other nutrient elements in the foliar samples. No visual symptoms of phosphorus toxicity was observed except for bract edge burn at anthesis.
M. Benlloch, F. Arboleda, D. Barranco, and R. Fernández-Escobar
The influence of sodium and boron excess in the irrigation water on shoot growth and on the distribution of these elements within various leaf types was studied on rooted olive cuttings (Olea europaea L.). `Lechín de Granada' was more tolerant than `Manzanillo' to sodium excess, as indicated by greater shoot growth and lower accumulation of sodium, especially in the young leaves. `Picual' was more tolerant to boron than `Manzanillo', with less accumulation in adult leaves. The results suggest the avoidance of toxicity by an ionic exclusion mechanism that is more effective in some cultivars than others. Also, the results reveal cultivar differences in the tolerance of olive to sodium and boron excess in the culture medium.
A. Matar, W.L. Berry, C.L. Mackowiak, G.W. Stutte, R.M. Wheeler, and J.C. Sager
Tissue nutrient (element) content profiles were determined for wheat and potato plants grown hydroponically (NFT) in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber (20 m2) using a complete nutrient solution with electrical conductivity maintained at 0.12 S·m–1. Profiles were compared to patterns of nutrient accumulation during vegetative stages reported for highly productive wheat and potatoes grown in the field under a wide range of conditions. Among the essential elements, differences between the hydroponically and field-grown crops were observed only for Ca, Mg, and Mn in the recently mature leaves, and these differences were related to changes in growth phase and/or consistency of nutrient supply during plant growth. Nutrient profiles for both hydroponically and field-grown crops were also compared to deficiency and toxicity critical levels compiled by various workers. As expected for high-yielding crops, the profiles for both crops were well within the sufficiency ranges for all evaluated nutrients.
Creighton L. Gupton and James M. Spiers
A study was conducted to estimate heritability of the content of Mn, Fe, and certain other mineral elements which have been associated with leaf chlorosis and to determine the genetic relationships among shoot dry weight, visual rating, and the mineral elements in rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade). Plants from a 10-parent dialled set of crosses were grown in sand culture to which 200 ml of 250 ppm Mn solution were applied five days per week. Visual ratings (1 – dead plant - 13 – no toxicity symptom) were made after six weeks and shoot weight and mineral element contents were determined after 10 weeks of treatment. Heritability estimates were high for all variables except Fe, suggesting that change in Mn, Zn, Ca, Mg, or K content could be expected from phenotypic recurrent selection. However, manipulation of mineral content probably would not ameliorate the Fe chlorosis. The high heritability of shoot dry weight and visual rating and the high genetic correlation between the two variables suggest that plants resistant to mineral effects on Fe metabolism can be selected on the basis of visual rating.
Mondher Bouden and Jacques-Andre Rioux
The richness of the organic residues in certain fertilizing elements justifies their valorization in horticulture. However, their contents in pathogenic and toxic elements can restrict their use. In this context, this study was conducted in order to evaluate the effect of three organic residues on the environmental medium and the risks of water contamination by the release of heavy metals. Physocarpus opulifolius `Nanus' was transplanted into four substrates. The control substrate contained 4 peatmoss: 5 composted conifer bark: 1 fine crushed gravel (by volume). The three other substrates (25% of peatmoss was substituted by organic residue) contained 10% of fresh bio-filters (FBF), 10% of composted sewage sludges (CSS), or 10% of de-inking sludges (CDS). The pots (5l) were placed in plastic vats and the drainage water was recovered in vessels (17l). The experimental design was in complete blocks with six replications. Samples of the drainage water were collected every 2 weeks for analysis. The pots were fertilized every week (400 mg/Ll of N) and growth parameters were statistically analyzed by ANOVA. The chemical analysis of the residues proves that they contain weak concentrations in organic contaminants. There is an accumulation of
Youbin Zheng*, Linping Wang, Weizhong Liu, John Sutton, and Mike Dixon
Copper is one of the essential micro-nutrient elements for plants, but when in excess, is toxic to plants and other living organisms. Electrolytically generated copper and cupric sulphate are increasingly used by the greenhouse industry to control diseases and algae in hydroponic systems. However, there is little information regarding appropriate strategies for employing copper in greenhouse crop production. We investigated the physiological responses, growth and production of several ornamental crops (miniature rose, chrysanthemum and geranium) and greenhouse vegetable crops (pepper, cucumber, and tomato) with respect to Cu2+ concentration in the root zone. Tests were conducted using plants grown in nutrient solution, Promix and rockwool. Results showed that phytotoxic levels of Cu2+ were dependent on the crop species and growing substrate. Plants grown in nutrient solution exhibited symptoms of phytotoxicity at lower Cu2+ concentrations than those on the solid substrates. The ability of copper to control Pythium aphanidermatum and green algae was evaluated under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Copper was effective in suppressing green algae in nutrient solution, but did not control Pythium effectively. This presentation is a comprehensive summary of the research conducted over the last three years by our group on copper application in greenhouse systems.
S.J. Locascio and G.J. Hochmuth
Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] were grown with three rates each of lime, gypsum, and K during two seasons to evaluate their effects on fruit production and mineral concentration. The first experimental site was a recently cleared Sparr fine sand with an initial water pH of 5.0 and Mehlich I extractable K of 8 mg·kg-1 (very low) and 20 mg·kg-1 Ca (very low). The second site was a virgin Pomona fine sand with a water pH of 4.8, 28 mg·kg-1 K (low), and 612 mg·kg-1 Ca (high). `Crimson Sweet' fruit yields were reduced 10% with an increase in lime rate from 0 to 4.48 t·ha-1 in the first season. In the second season, lime rate had no effect on yield. In both seasons, fruit yields were reduced 14% with an increase in Ca from gypsum from 0 to 1.12 t·ha-1. On the soil testing very low in K, yield increased with an increase in K rate from 90 to 224 kg·ha-1 with no lime or gypsum. On the soil testing low in K, greatest yields were obtained with 90 kg·ha-1 K with no lime and gypsum. Application of lime and gypsum increased Ca and decreased K in seedlings but not consistently in older leaf and fruit tissues. An increase in K application increased leaf K in the first season but not in the second. Fruit firmness and soluble solids content were not consistently affected by treatment during the two seasons. Thus, on soils low in toxic elements (Mn and Al) such as used in this study, watermelon will grow well and tolerate a wide range of soil pH values without additional Ca from lime or gypsum.
Richard E.C. Layne, Chin S. Tan, David M. Hunter, and Robert A. Cline
Seven treatment combinations of irrigation and fertilizer were compared in a high-density (606 trees/ha) management system for peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Harrow Beauty/Bailey] on Fox sand in southwestern Ontario. Each treatment combination had an irrigation component (N = nonirrigated, D = drip irrigated, or M = microsprinkler irrigated) and a fertilizer placement component (B = banded fertilizer, L = low fertigation, or H = high fertigation). NB and DB are commonly used systems in Ontario, while the other five treatment combinations were experimental. Total soil water in the top 110 cm of soil was lowest under NB but was never at the permanent wilting point. Trunk cross-sectional area was largest under DH and DB, smallest under ML and NB, and intermediate for the other three treatment combinations. No symptoms of N or K deficiency or toxicity were noted for any of the fertilizer treatments. Leaf analyses in July and September indicated that most major and minor elements were in the adequate to slightly excess range. However, there were no significant treatment effects on leaf nutrient concentrations in July or September when averaged over the five years, except for Mg in July. There were large and significant year effects on leaf nutrient concentrations but no significant treatment × year interactions. During the first four cropping years, there were no significant treatment effects, averaged over years, for total yield, marketable yield, or cumulative yield efficiency; however, there were large year effects but no treatment × year interactions for these factors. There was no detectable yield advantage for D vs. M irrigation. B application of N and K promoted no higher yields than fertigation equivalent to the B rate or 50% of this rate. Fertigation of N and K during the first 4 years of this experiment did not provide a detectable yield advantage to warrant the added cost and labor associated with this system compared with the B applications of N and K.
Rufus L. Chaney
Depending on the materials used to produce a compost, it will contain lower or higher levels of nutrients and metals. If composts have been appropriately matured, nutrients are in plant-available forms for crop production, and the compost pH will be near neutral. After 25 years of research and development of regulations and advice for biosolids and compost utilization, pretreatment of industrial wastes allows biosolids composts, and composts prepared from biosolids mixed with municipal solid wastes or yard debris to contain levels of microelements needed for plant nutrition but not high levels that could cause phytotoxicity. Composts can supply N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, B, Mo, and Se required by plants or animals. When used in potting media, supplemental N fertilization is usually required, depending on crop requirements. Use of compost can replace other forms of microelements used as fertilizers in media or fields. Detailed evaluation of potential food chain transfer of Cd, Pb, and other elements in composts clearly shows that consumption of 60% of garden foods produced on pH 5.5 soils with 1000 t compost/ha would not comprise risk over a lifetime of consumption, nor would ingesting the composts at 200 mg/day for 5 years. Potentially toxic organic compounds are either destroyed during composting, or bound very strongly by the compost so that plant uptake is trivial. Compost use can be a safe and wise choice for both home and commercial use to replace peat or uncomposted manures, etc. Many states have developed regulatory controls to assure that pathogenic organisms are killed during composting, and that product quality standards are attained that allow marketing for general use in the community.